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The rainforests are precious ecosystems that are teeming with life. Check out these fascinating rainforest facts for KS2 children and teachers to learn more about the tropical rainforests of the world.
A rainforest is a tall, dense forest that receives lots of rain every year. Rainforests are full of biodiversity, meaning there are lots of different species of plants and animals that live there.
There are two types of rainforests: tropical rainforests and temperate rainforests. There are many more tropical than temperate rainforests; when people talk about rainforests, they are usually referring to tropical rainforests.
Tropical rainforests are found near the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. These are invisible lines that go all the way around the Earth.
The largest tropical rainforests are in the Amazon River Basin (South America), the Congo River Basin of West Africa, and parts of southeast Asia.
Tropical rainforests are very hot, humid and wet. They get around 2500 mm of rain a year. The average temperature is 28°C. There are no seasons in tropical rainforests; the weather is consistent all year round. Temperatures are always between 20°C and 35°C.
There are four layers of rainforest vegetation: the emergent layer, canopy, understorey and forest floor.
Teachers: If you're looking for a more in-depth lesson on the layers of the rainforest, check out this fully-prepared layers of the rainforest lesson.
Around two-thirds of the world’s plant species live in rainforests. Rainforest conditions are perfect for helping plants grow. There are thousands of different species of flowers, trees and other plants. Common rainforest plants include bromeliads, lianas (vines), orchids, trees with buttress roots and carnivorous plants, such as the Venus flytrap.
Rainforests are home to thousands of animal species which are supported and sheltered by the rich plant life of the rainforest. Many types of insects, arachnids (spiders), reptiles, amphibians, birds and mammals live in different parts of the rainforests, depending on what the animal needs to survive.
Birds mainly live in the emergent layer. Larger mammals, like jaguars, elephants and tigers live on the forest floor. Other mammals are arboreal, which means they live in trees. Some arboreal mammals include monkeys and sloths.
Teachers: Check out our Rainforest Science lessons to challenge your class to identify and classify rainforest plants and animals.
Rainforests are often referred to as ‘the lungs of the Earth’. This is because they play such an important role in absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, which all animals need to survive. They help stabilise the climate of the planet and are a crucial ecosystem in the planet’s survival.
We also get lots of the products we use every day from rainforests, such as:
Did you know...?
70 per cent of the plants used in medicines that treat cancer are found in the rainforest. However, it is believed that only 1 per cent of all rainforest plants have been tested to see what their components can be used for.
Deforestation is when the trees in a forest are cut down. This can be done for many reasons, such as clearing an area for farming, logging for wood, mining, settlement and roads.
It is believed that an area of rainforest the size of a football pitch is lost to deforestation every single second. This is a major problem for the planet. Rainforests help keep our climate stable; without rainforests, the planet gets warmer and sea levels rise.
Deforestation also threatens the survival of many species of plants and animals due to a loss of habitat. With nowhere to live and less food to hunt or eat, species can become extinct.
Take a look at our Rainforest Teaching Resources collection for more of PlanBee's rainforest-themed lesson packs and free resources.
Thanks, Steph :-)
The unit is detailed and the resources are very engaging for the children. It is going to help me deliver a great unit of work that the children enjoy.
We hope you and your class enjoy using the resources, Vicky! Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review :-)
These are excellent. I have found them really useful.
That's great to hear, Sally! Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review :-)
There were a few good slides and activities in this pack but overall I would not recommend. I bought this after finding the Mexico pack was great ( factual case studies, good map activities, attractive slides). However, the coast pack is not as good. It lacks depth, case study (Scarborough) is too old, limited map work/skills.
Hi Katie, thank you for taking the time to leave us a review - we always appreciate feedback from our customers. We are constantly updating and improving our resources, and so I will pass on your comments about this scheme to the resource creators.
Some great resources to help children understand how medicine has evolved over time. We love the emphasis on primary & secondary sources too.
Thank you for taking the time to leave us a review, Sharon!
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